The speakers on our panel will be leading experts in the world of media, charity, and digital storytelling.

Our keynote speaker

Lemn Sissay MBE

Award-winning writer and broadcaster

We are thrilled to welcome our keynote speaker, award-winning writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE. Lemn embodies our event theme – “The Power of Our Stories” having used his own story to amplify the voices of others.

What unites all of  Lemn’s  work is his passion for storytelling with a real authenticity in his approach. In his talk he’ll be discussing his motivation to share his own story and his experiences of creating work on difficult subjects.

The BBC television documentary, ‘Internal Flight‘, and radio documentary, ‘Child of the State’, were both broadcast about his life and his TED Talk ‘Child of the State’ has reached over half a million people putting a spotlight on the care-system and care-leavers. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature and the Sissay PhD Scholarship for care leavers has been running for six years.

Lemn’s Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. He has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands as the poet of the 2012 Olympics, and to millions across our TV screens and the airwaves of BBC Radio. His poetry collection Gold from the Stone published in 2016 features work that spans the past 30 years.

More speakers

  • Yoav Segal


    Yoav Segal is an award-winning film and theatre-maker, impact consultant and Arts Foundation and Royal Society of the Arts Fellow. He has a passion for social action projects that affect real change and stories that challenge people to think. Yoav works with NGOs, charities and businesses focused on youth engagement, social inclusion and peace-building in conflict zones. His films have been seen at world-leading festivals and prime-time TV, his theatre work at Sadlers’ Wells and other world leading venues and he’s led social action projects for FTSE 50 companies.

  • Adam Wagner


    Adam Wagner is the founder and Strategic Director of RightsInfo. In his day job, he is a barrister specialising in human rights law and is well known for his human rights communications work on social and mainstream media. In 2010 he set up the hugely successful UK Human Rights Blog.

  • Kirstie Brewer


    Kirstie is a commissioning editor at the Guardian and runs its Letter to the Public series, designed to give a voice to the staff behind public services. She is also a writer on social affairs, women’s rights, and culture for The Guardian, the BBC and The Pool.

  • Anna Hall


    Anna is an award-winning filmmaker, and Managing Director  of True Vision Aire, the northern base of True Vision TV based in Anna’s home city, Leeds. Anna has made numerous films for primetime for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and makes observational films which are generally access based and put a spotlight on difficult subjects. Some of the many films she has directed include Muslim Driving School for BBC2 (which sold over the world), ‘Edge of the City’ (Channel 4) and ‘The Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs’ (Channel 4, 2013) which won numerous awards. Anna also won the hugely prestigious Women In film and Television BBC News & Factual Award in December 2013. Most recently, she directed the powerful ‘Behind Closed Doors’ for Channel 4 putting a spotlight on domestic abuse.

  • Vicki Brewer


    Vicki Brewer, Senior Social Media Executive works in the Social team at Cancer Research UK. The Social team manage all of the social outputs across the charity, from a number of different channels and platforms. From supporting the charity’s fundraising campaigns to ensuring our research breakthroughs are communicated to our supporters, we are a multi-skilled team comprising of video editors, copywriters, strategists and designers.

  • Charlotte Beaty-Pownall


    Charlotte Beaty-Pownall, Senior Social Media Manager works in the Social team at Cancer Research UK. The Social team manage all of the social outputs across the charity, from a number of different channels and platforms. From supporting the charity’s fundraising campaigns to ensuring our research breakthroughs are communicated to our supporters, we are a multi-skilled team comprising of video editors, copywriters, strategists and designers.

  • Nathan Murray


    Nathan is Social Media Marketing Manager at RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), where he leads on the development, delivery and optimisation of social media marketing activity for RNIB and Action for Blind People. Before joining RNIB, Nathan spent three years at the RNLI where he was responsible for creating and curating social media content about the lifesaving work of the RNLI. Nathan is passionate about user-focused content and exploring how new messaging platforms can be used in the Third Sector.

  • Nicki Fitz-Gerald

    AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHY, iPhoneographyCentral.com FOUNDER | @iphoneographyC 

    Nicki is an award-winning iPhone photographer and is the founder of iPhoneographyCentral.com. She works as an artist, author, speaker, educator and graphic designer. Her passion for creating images and short videos on her iPhone began in 2009 and has taken her on an amazing journey; from co-authoring the book, affectionately known as the bible of creative iPhone photography; “The Art of iPhone Photography”, to hosting an online iPhone photography series for AdoramaTV. She was a keynote speaker and taught workshops at the innovative new mobile journalism conference in 2015 and 2016.


  • Catherine Allen


    Catherine is a virtual reality director and producer, with a multidisciplinary background of apps, VR, documentary and theatre. She recently produced one of the BBC’s first VR documentaries, Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, and is about to launch a new 360 video format for the BBC. Catherine began her career co-founding the factual production company, Ember Television and built it to be one of Birmingham’s largest online video production companies. She then worked as a producer/director at acclaimed educational app publisher, Touchpress; working on the BAFTA-winning Disney Animated app, with Disney Interactive.

  • Jes Bailey


    Jes Bailey is a crowdfunding specialist who has worked on over a hundred crowdfunding campaigns. Before setting up her own crowdfunding consultancy business, Crowdfund 360, Jes worked at GlobalGiving. Her background in international development and communications has also seen her work in charities in Bangladesh, Egypt, Netherlands and the UK. Crowdfund 360 aims to empower people to bring their projects to life through increased funding, marketing and audience building. Jes trains businesses and not for profits in both the art and science of crowdfunding. To find out more visit www.crowdfund-360.com

  • Justin Mullender

    | @JustinMullender

    Justin Mullender is a specialist in mobile content creation and communications planning, currently supporting member and staff communications at The Scout Association. Justin started his career in pop promo and commercials production working for HMV, L’Oreal and the Spice Girls. As a volunteer he has led a number of low budget volunteer communication teams at large scale Scout events. Recently, Justin became a restauranteur and used his wide range of communication skills to turn a rundown country pub into a thriving restaurant in Chelmsford via video and photography promotions on social media.

  • Jude Habib


    Jude is the Founder and Director of sounddelivery. She set up sounddelivery to help non-profit organisations and other socially-minded enterprises embrace the changing media landscape and find new ways of telling their stories. As a former BBC producer Jude’s work has always focused on the power of human interest stories and is passionate about giving a voice to stories and issues that don’t get reported and strives to support people with lived experience to be confident to tell those stories themselves.


    CHAIR, STOKE EXPERT CITIZENS | @darrenmurinas @expertcitizens

    For the last three years Darren has used his lived experience to offer advice to VOICES of Stoke, a Big Lottery-funded programme testing alternative approaches to tackling multiple needs, including substance misuse, homelessness, alcoholism and offending behaviour. A key aim is to create a new narrative challenging media prejudice and public stereotypes. Their work helped to attract an investment of nearly £10m from the Big Lottery Fund for Stoke-on-Trent to help people with multiple needs. Over this time he has developed his skills in storytelling, public speaking, blogging and filmmaking. Darren is passionate about passing his new skills on to other Expert Citizens, empowering them and making their voices heard. Darren is a trustee at Lankelly Chase.

  • Lisa Jeffery


    A Chartered Marketer with 10+ years’ experience delivering strategic and practical marketing/communications solutions across the creative, corporate and charity sectors. Lisa has worked at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation since April 2015 and is passionate about using design and technology to help people connect, collaborate and innovate for social good.

  • Bob Snarey


    Bob is passionate about helping Charities get their message across. He has been involved with charities actively for over 25 years in Europe and Africa. Most recently he has been working with a National Children’s Charity and it is there that he realised what a powerful, quick and cheap medium video was for getting a message across. He has equipped himself with all the skills necessary to teach Charities how to do it themselves and how to share it. This is manifesting itself in his new project Glowworm TV (not-for-profit) which is in the process of being formed now. Bob’s background is in Advertising and Marketing having worked in the big Ad Agencies here in UK and in Sweden.


  • Dawn Newton


    Dawn is a creative communications consultant with exceptional people skills and endless enthusiasm. She enjoys inspiring and encouraging everyone she works with. Dawn specialises in placing the audience at the heart of her marketing strategies, creating a real sense of community both online and offline. Having worked with lots of small charities, Dawn is passionate about enabling charities to create high impact communications with minimal resources.